There are obviously lots of questions about lots of people in our family tree. For example, we'd like to know the parents (and grandparents, etc.) of every one of the people listed under the "Earliest" menu item. The following people, however, present mysteries that we'd especially like to solve. Some of these are "brick walls," people we've known about and investigated off and on for many years, but whose parents remain undiscovered. Others are simply people that have caught our interest for a variety of reasons, that we'd like to know more about.
The following are a few of the mysteries on the Towne side of the family.
- Phebe Artman --
Who were Phebe Artman's parents? We currently list her father as
Charles Artman, as shown on her death certificate, but no relevant
census entry has been found for a Charles Artman family. I strongly
suspect her parents were actually Adam and Magdalena (Poff)
Artman, as shown on a few web sites I've seen on Dellinger family
history. Adam and Magdalena appear in the 1860 census in Ashland
Co., Ohio, with a child Phoebe, age 9. That census says Adam
and Magdalena were born in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, which is
consistent with our Phebe's listings in the 1900 and 1910 censuses.
And, in the Ancestry database "California Death Index, 1940-1997,"
the entry for Phebe's son Luke P. Phillips gives his mother's
maiden name as Puaf. (Although his mother's maiden name was
actually Artman; it was his grandmother whose maiden name might
have been Poff.)
Also listed with are Adam and Magdalena in 1860 are Catharine (age 14), Amelia (13), Wm. H. (11), and James E. (8), all born in Ohio. We have an old family picture from a studio in Ashland, Ohio, showing Phoebe as a child, with another child identified as "Aunt Millie." Perhaps this is Amelia?
There are some nagging inconsistencies, though. In the 1860 census Adam and Magdalena Artman's daughter Phoebe is age 9, meaning she would have been born about 1851. But her death certificate says she was born 10 March 1849, which is consistent with her entry in the 1900 census (which lists her birth date as March 1849), and the 1910 census (where she was age 61). On the other hand, her marriage record, dated 27 June 1880, lists her age as 28. Maddeningly, we haven't yet found Adam and Magdalena Artman in the 1850 census.
Also, as noted above, her death record lists her father's name as "Chas. Artman." But, that may be suspect. Her husband had died three years earlier, and the undertaker C. Brace supplied the information on the death certificate. Her mother is listed as unknown, so the undertaker was apparently not terribly familiar with her family history.
- Philip Burlingham
and Polly Babcock --
We'd love to learn more about both Philip and Polly. In particular,
where did Philip go after 1832, when he was living in Pennsylvania,
and where "in the west" did Polly die?
In our Burlingham line, we have:
Husband Wife 1. Roger Burlingham (1620-1718) Mary Lippitt (1643-1718) 2. Thomas Burlingame (1667-1758) Martha Lippitt (1670-1723) 3. Samuel Burlingame (1692-1741) Mercy Smith (1696-1761) 4. Samuel Burlingame (1716-?) Elizabeth Congdon (1716-?) 5. Philip Burlingame (1749-1804) Elizabeth Donaway (1754-1804) 6. Philip Burlingham (1777-?) Polly Babcock (1784-?) 7. Philip Burlingham (1806-1883) Charity M. Phelps (1830-1914) 8. Frank Swikert (1862-1916) Laura A. Burlingham (1866-1947) 9. Charles A. Swikert (1899-1986) Verda M. Williamson (1899-1986) 10. Clarence R. Towne (1910-1984) Ruth V. Swikert (1923-) 11. Charles E. Towne (1947-) Jane E. Bowditch (1955-)
Most of our information on generations 1-5 in the above list comes from a genealogy put together originally by Nelson Burlingame, with corrections and updates by Ross and Lynn Burlingame of Merrillan, Wisconsin.
In the above list, Philip (6) is listed in the Nelson Burlingame genealogy (with the surname Burlingame), but his wife's name is listed as unknown, and his line is not continued in later volumes. Philip (7), along with his wives and children, is listed in an informal homemade genealogy originally put together by Charles Swikert and his cousin Charles Burlingham about 1950, but no sources are given. It lists his father as Philip Burlingham, but doesn't have a name for his mother.
We're pretty sure that Philip (6) married Polly Babcock, but some additional evidence would be nice. Polly is in the Babcock Genealogy by Stephen Babcock, and her husband is listed as Philip Burlingham, but there's no additional information about them, their descendents, or Philip's parents. In the LDS on-line database Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800-1995, the parents of Nathan H. Burlingham are listed as Philip Burlingham and "Mollie" Babcock. And, we've got a copy of a letter dated March 9, 1824, in Cobleskill (New York) from Russel Babcock to his "Dear Brother and Sister" Phillip and Polly Burlingham. The names mentioned in the letter are consistent with the information in the Stephen Babcock book. By itself it doesn't prove that the Philip and Polly Burlingham in the letter were the parents of our Philip (7). But if not, why would it have been handed down in our family?
It's partly conjecture and far from proven, but Philip (6) may have been married a second time, to Cynthia Hale, lived in Chautauqua Co., New York, from at least 1840 to 1850, and then moved to Fayette Co., Iowa, where he lived with his grandson Robert E. Burlingham. See the information below, about Stephen Burlingham, for more details.
- Stephen Burlingham --
Is our Stephen Burlingham, the son of Philip and Polly (Babcock)
Burlingham, actually Squire Robert Burlingham, who married Lydia
Abbott in Chautauqua Co., New York, and was the father of Robert
E. Burlingham? There's some circumstantial evidence that indicates
he might be, and if so, it would help clear up some of the mystery
about Philip and Polly.
In the Burlingham genealogy put together by Charles Swikert and Charles Burlingham, he's listed as Stephen Burlingham, son of Philip Burlingham. A handwritten note added by Ruth Towne says "given name possibly Squire". It also says there that he was probably a doctor living in California.
In the IGI, there's an entry for Philip and Polly's family that lists their children, among them a "Stephen or Squire Burlingham." (However, it also lists Susan, Mariah, Nathan, David, Samuel, and Theodore. Of these we don't have David or Theodore. And it doesn't list our Philip (7 in the descendency chart shown earlier.) We're reasonably sure about our Philip (7), though, since his death record lists his parents as Philip and Polly Burlingham.)
Email from Hal Amick to Marie Burge says Squire was a physician in Battle Creek, Michigan.
A bio of Robert E. Burlingham in one of those "Portrait and Biographical Albums," for Fayette Co., Iowa, says that his father was Dr. S. R. Burlingham, who was born in Dutchess Co., New York, in 1810, and married Lydia Abbott in Chautauqua Co., New York. He moved to Battle Creek in 1835, and his wife Lydia died in 1839 at age 27. He and Lydia had four children, among them being Robert E. (the subject of the bio), and Nathan D. (a miner in California). S. R. Burlingham later married Elizabeth Young, and they had four children. He died 11 March 1850.
The book The Young (Jung) Families of the Mohawk Valley by Clifford M. Young (pp 105-106) says S. R. Burlingham was born 28 August 1811, married Maria Elizabeth Young on 8 November 1839, and died on 11 March 1850. They had five children; Squire, Joseph, Delphine, Melissa, and William. Maria married second George Washington Breed, on 11 April 1852, and they had one child, Georgia Elizabeth. Maria served as a nurse in the Civil War, later moved to Los Angeles, California, and died there.
Our Philip Burlingham (7) and Nathan Decatur Burlingham were both in El Dorado Co., California, at the same time in 1870. And Philip's letters from there mention a "Nate" a few times. If our Stephen Burlingham is actually Squire Robert Burlingham, this Nathan would have been Philip's nephew.
The bio of Robert E. Burlingham says he moved to Fayette Co., Iowa, from Chautauqua Co., New York, in 1854. He's listed there with his family in the 1860 census. Listed in the same household are Philip Burlingham (age 79) and Cynthia Burlingham (age 69). This could be our Philip (6), and apparently his second wife. Philip (6) would then be Robert's grandfather.
Philip and Cynthia Burlingham are listed in Ellicott, Chautauqua Co., New York in 1850. Adelia Hale (age 25) is in the same household. She later married Robert E. Burlingham. (Could Adelia be Cynthia's daughter by a first marriage? The ages are about right.) Philip is also listed in Chautauqua Co. in 1840, so it seems he was there for a decent length of time. In 1840, he's listed with a female aged 40-49, too young for our Polly Babcock, but right for Cynthia.
So, if the Philip Burlingham who married Cynthia is our Philip (6), his first wife Polly Babcock must have died before 1840.
- Abraham Crow
and Rachel Craven --
Abraham was born about 1748 in Ireland, according to an article
published in the Ottawa, Ohio, Gazette on 2 September 1910. This
date is consistent with information on him in the History of
Columbiana County Ohio, which says he died
in October 1844 at age 97. But a transcript of a historical marker
erected by his descendents in 1926 says both Abraham
and Rachel were born in 1754 in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. And
the Gazette article says Rachel was from Holland, Berks
They were Quakers, and crossed the Alleghenies in 1787 and settled in Crossroads, Washington Co., Pennsylvania. In 1814 they moved to Elk Run Twp., Columbiana Co., Ohio, and the area eventually became known as "Crowtown" because most of the residents had that name.
Although this is an interesting couple, it's actually the brothers of both Abraham and Rachel that we'd most like to learn more about.
According the Gazette article, Abraham was the youngest of three brothers who came to America from Ireland around the time the Revolutionary War began. One of the brothers was killed at the Battle of Brandywine on 11 September 1777, and his descendants settled near New Castle, Pennsylvania. The other brother was a prisoner of the British, and escaped through a tunnel, but later died in a well. The grave site marker has the same information, and also says that one of Rachel's brothers served during the Revolutionary War, and was with Washington at Trenton, Germantown, Princeton, and Valley Forge.
- Leonard Hall --
All of the information we have on Leonard Hall is from the book
The Life and Times of Leonard Hall by Henry Clay Conner. We
only have photocopies of selected pages, from microfilm. He seems
to have had an interesting life, and we'd like to see the original
book to learn more about him.
He was born about 1728, married Johanna Letton about 1750 in Prince Georges Co., Maryland, and died sometime before 2 February 1809, when the inventory of his estate was filed in Barren Co., Kentucky. He served in the Bedford Co., Virginia, militia during the French and Indian War. For his service he received four land grants in Fayette Co., Kentucky, one of which was surveyed for him by Daniel Boone. He apparently never lived in Fayette Co., however, instead moving to Barren Co., Kentucky. He died intestate, and the settlement of his estate caused a great deal of dissension among his heirs.
- Caroline Kelley --
Until very recently we had her last name as Cleveland, based on
a Hamilton pedigree chart in the family. But a couple of new
discoveries show that she was actually Caroline Kelley. So now
we've got a new name to search for! She was born about 1811 (based
on her age in the 1850 census), and married Keys C. Hamilton on 7 December
1826 at the First Presbyterian Church in Whitehall, Washington
Co., New York. (The day before, in the same church, Ansel Record
married Keys' sister Mary Hamilton.) They moved to Schroon,
Essex Co., New York, by 1830, to Ohio sometime between 1835 and
1838, and to Whitley Co., Indiana, by 1840, where they were members
of the Eel River Baptist Church in Cleveland Twp. In 1841 they
sold 40 acres of land in Whitley Co. to Henry B. Kelley, likely a
relative (brother?) of Caroline. Caroline probably died sometime
between 1850, when she and Keys are listed in the census, and 1860,
when Keys' second wife Elizabeth (Morrison) Hamilton sold some
- Lucretia Millard --
Who were her parents?
Robert and Hannah (Eddy) Millard had a daughter Lucretia, born 8 September 1728. Several genealogies on the Internet list this Lucretia as the wife of Amos Woodin, with essentially the same children as we have. However, the birth dates we have for Lucretia's children, from 1777 to 1795, are clearly too late for a woman born in 1728. An article by Ruth Kline Lee entitled "Descendants of Robert Millard 1702-1784, of Rehoboth, Ma and Pawling, NY" published in the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine says:
Lucretia, b. 8 Sept 1728. This Lucretia Millard has frequently been "married" to Amos Woodin. But Woodin's wife Lucretia nee' Millard, who d. 19 dec 1859, bur. Beekman Cemetery, and who had her first child (of six) in 1777, was obviously not born in 1728. She was probably a niece of this original Lucretia Millard, but her father is thus far unidentified.
We currently list our Lucretia's father as Joshua Millard, based on information in the book Family History from Edward Richards, the Puritan, Through Mary Kathryn Richards Hurt and Family, With Allied Families of Amos Woodin and Robert Torrens by Mary Lee Hurt. Robert and Hannah (Eddy) Millard also had a son named Joshua, born 3 March 1729/30, in addition to Lucretia born 8 September 1728. I suspect that this Joshua is our Lucretia's father, but haven't been able to find any documentation of that. If true, we would be related to Pres. Millard Fillmore, through Joshua's brother Abiather (see The American Genealogist, 63:46, 1988).
- Philip Phelps --
We know bits and pieces about Philip Phelps, but not much about the
big stuff, like who were his parents, where did he come from, and
when did he die? It'd also be nice to learn more about his marriage.
A biography of his grandson Silas Phelps in Portrait and Biographical Album of Calhoun County, Michigan says he was born in Massachusetts, served during the Revolution for five years under Capt. Moss, married his Captain's daughter Catherine, and died at over 80 years of age. His entry in the 1800 census lists (among others) both one male and one female over age 45, meaning that both he and his wife Catherine were born before 1755.
He lived in Blandford, Massachusetts, and moved to St. Lawrence Co., New York, about 1811. The date comes from his son Calvin's obituary, who was born in 1790, and says he and his parents moved there when he (Calvin) was 21.
Calvin Phelps' obituary says that his mother died during the move to St. Lawrence Co., in 1811, and the bio of Silas Phelps says she died at age 70. If both are true, Catherine was born about 1741. However, at least three of her children were born in 1790 or later, which seems unlikely for a woman born in 1741.
- Luke P. Phillips
and Patience Simmons --
Who were their parents? Phillips and Simmons are pretty common
names, and adding just one or two generations to their lines
would probably allow us to connect them to previously published
Luke was born about 1808 in Wayne Co., New York (from information in the record of his second marriage), and moved to Oakland Co., Michigan, in 1829. He married Patience about 1830 (based on the birth date of their first child). After Patience's death he married second Mary E. Quackenbush on 14 November 1876 in Pontiac, Michigan, and third Jane Westerbee on 23 June 1879, also in Pontiac. He died on 8 February 1893 (from a transcript of an article in the 17 February 1893 North Branch Gazette).
Patience was born about 1811 (based on her age in the 1860 and 1870 censuses), or 1807 (based on her age in the 1850 census), in New York. She died on 30 April 1875. Her surname comes from the death record of her son William.
Both Luke and Patience are buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan. Their cemetery lots, plus those of their daughter Almyra, son William, and William's wife Phoebe, were purchased by Thurston Simmons on 16 April 1848 for $3.00. Some information has been found online about Thurston, and he is no doubt related to Patience, possibly a brother, but so far that's just speculation. Thurston was born 23 November 1818 in Wayne Co., New York, and died 6 July 1894 in Livingston Co., Michigan. His parents were Samuel and Amy (Beals) Simmons, and Samuel's parents were Ivory and Sarah (Borden) Simmons.
- John W. Swikert
and his wife Ann Sophia (?) --
Trying to find the parents of John Swikert and his wife has been
a frustrating process. We assume that the name Swikert is German,
with several spelling variants in the records, and of course
John is a very common given name. Even his wife's name is a bit
John Swikert was born 17 August 1781, based on his tombstone which says he died on 30 September 1864 at age 83 years, 1 month, 13 days. He was born in Pennsylvania according to his entries in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, but the 1880 census entries for his sons Jesse and Samuel say he was born in Ohio and Germany, respectively. He died in Branch Co., Michigan.
According to her tombstone, his wife was Ann Sophia, who died 5 September 1854 at age 66 years, 3 months, 6 days, making her birth date 30 May 1788. She was born in Maryland according to her entry in the 1850 census, but the 1880 census entries for her sons Jesse and George say she was born in Ohio and Virginia, respectively. She died in Branch Co., Michigan.
The name Ann Sophia is from her tombstone, but she is listed as Sophia Ann in the 1850 census. However, according to the document "18th Century PA German Naming Customs" by Charles Kerchner, the first name given at baptism was a spiritual, or saint's, name, and the second name was the name the person actually used. Her surname may have been Frager, based on a marriage record for John Swigart and Sophia Frager in Stark Co., Ohio, on 18 October 1814.
We think John Swikert came to Ohio from Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. He bought land in Stark Co., Ohio, in 1831, and in Hancock Co., Ohio, in 1835. He and his family are listed in Hancock Co. in the 1850 census. The family must have moved to Branch Co., Michigan, sometime between 1850 and 1854, when Ann Sophia died there.
The following are some mysteries on the Bowditch side of the family.
- The family of George Abbot
and Anna Stickney --
On 2 April 1845 George and Anna Abbot's daughter Elizabeth married
Joseph Henry Bowditch in Beverly, Massachusetts, and moved to his
home in Tarboro, North Carolina. Many letters written to her in
North Carolina by her friends and family in Massachusetts, as well
as some others between other family members, have been handed down
in the family, and offer a fascinating insight into their lives,
and life in general, in the mid to late 1800s. So, ironically, the
main reason we want to learn more about this family is because we
feel like we know some of them so well through these letters.
George Abbot was born 26 March 1791 in Beverly, Massachusetts, the son of William Abbot and Elizabeth Leach. He married Anna Stickney, daughter of Samuel Stickney Jr. and Edith Wallis, on 2 April 1820 in Beverly, and died on 18 January 1848. He was a ship captain, sailing to places such as Africa, Cape de Verds, and Pernambuco. On one trip home from Africa his ship was raided by Spanish pirates.
Anna Stickney was born 9 November 1796 in Beverly, and drowned there on 19 June 1851.
George and Anna had the following children. Except for the two who died young, all of them are at least mentioned in the letters, and most were writers of some of them. They led interesting, sometimes tragic, lives.
Elizabeth Blanchard Abbot Born 28 February 1821, died 26 August 1902. Georgiana Abbot Born 28 October 1823, died in childbirth 8 March 1848. George William Abbot Born 3 September 1825, died 24 June 1861. His first wife Sarah Bowditch, sister of Elizabeth's husband Joseph Henry Bowditch, died in childbirth less than a year after their marriage, when he was away at sea. He remarried, but died about three months later. Martha Ellen Abbot Born 23 May 1829, died 7 August 1830. John Edwin Abbot Born 17 August 1831, died 15 January 1911. He traveled extensively at sea during his youth, including one trip around the world that included an attempted mutiny. He moved to North Carolina in 1868, and lived for a time with his sister Elizabeth's family, and later with Elizabeth's daughter Georgiana. Charles Henry Abbot Born 28 July 1834, died 5 March 1844. Martha Elizabeth Abbot Born 28 December 1835, died 15 September 1870. She married Dr. William Thorndike and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where William became fairly well known. Their son Paul was also a doctor, and married Rachel Ewing Sherman, daughter of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Ellen Louisa Abbot Born 15 September 1837, died 8 March 1887. She married Johnson McClure, and like her sister Martha moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their son Abbot McClure was a furniture designer, and co-author with Harold Eberlein of several books on home furnishing and decoration published in the early 1900s. He also traveled extensively in Europe, was a war correspondent during World War I, and was part of the Y.M.C.A. service in Italy from 1918 to 1920. Frederick Abbot Born 15 August 1841 (or 24 May 1840?), and married Emily Lynde Whiting on 7 June 1865. He died 8 July 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but was buried in his home town of Beverly, Massachusetts.
- William Abbot --
William Abbot married Martha White on 9 May 1758, and died sometime
before 8 December 1768 when his wife was appointed administrator of
Who were his parents? Extensive published genealogies exist for the Abbott/Abbot families, but the only mention we've found for this William Abbot is in the Abbot genealogy by Abiel and Ephraim Abbot, in the section on the descendents of Arthur Abbot of Ipswich. It says that William was the son of Arthur Abbot and Sarah Willcomb, baptized 28 February 1741. This is apparently wrong, however. The Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, as well as an article in The Essex Antiquarian, show that Arthur and Sarah Abbot's son William died young, on 14 June 1742 in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
- Nathaniel Ingersoll Bowditch --
As the son of Joseph Henry Bowditch and Elizabeth Blanchard Abbot,
he came from basically a northern family, but ended up serving in
the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He enlisted on 26 March
1864, at barely age 18, and was wounded
and taken prisoner less than a year later. At Point Lookout Prison
Camp in Maryland he was noticed by Major Henry P. Bowditch of the
Union Army, a third cousin from Massachusetts, who helped obtain
He was initially sent to his grandfather's home (George Abbot, see above) in Beverly, Massachusetts, where he was described as a "pitiable figure." After a few months he returned to his home in Yancey Co., North Carolina, where he married Margaret Cordelia Silver, and had two (or three?) children.
But he was apparently restless, and traveled to the "west" for the first time in 1871. In 1877 he left once more, leaving behind his wife and two young children, and was never heard from again. His sister Georgiana later wrote "We haven't heard anything for many years, so I suppose he has passed away."
So, where did he go, and what happened to him?
There are indications that his family knew where he was, at least initially, and he apparently was in Indiana for a time.
- In a claim filed with the Southern Claims Commission in 1873 his father said that he (Nathaniel) was living in Indiana.
- In a letter to Nathaniel's brother Charles in Urbana, Illinois, dated 30 December 1880, his mother wrote "I have not heard from Nat yet. Do you hear from him? I shall write him before long. He must not forget us." In another letter, probably also to Charles, she wrote "Nat has forsaken us. You must come home by him and see him, and bring us some news of him. I cannot give him up!!"
- On 5 October 1899 in Marion Co., Indiana, a Nathan Bowditch (age 46) married Mattie V. (Hurley) Campbell (31). His father's name is listed as Joseph H. Bowditch, and his mother's as Abbott.
- In the 1900 census, Mattie Bowditch is listed in her father William Hurley's household in Marion Co., Indiana, without Nathaniel. She's listed as being married for one year (not as a widow), and age 22. Her mother Maggie is listed as being born in North Carolina. Also listed in the household as a grandson of William Hurley is her son James Campbell (age 4) from her first marriage to Arthur Campbell.